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Porsches for the Picking

Porsche Speedster replicas for sale

The Porsche 356 Speedster is quite possibly the single best replica car candidate ever, and yes I’m prepared to clarify that statement. It’s not exactly rare, as it’s believed half of the 76,000 356s built survive today, but demand is clearly exceeding supply. Rough 356s can command prices in the $30,000 range, and the rarest examples reach into the $300,000s. So it’s pricey, and obviously great looking and desirable, but it’s also quite easy to replicate.

The 356 only shared a few parts with the Volkswagen Beetle, and only for a short time, but the chassis have enough in common to make it a great base for a 356 replica. The VW chassis provides all the mechanical parts to get a 356 up and running and really simplifies the titling process. There are also plenty of options for hopping-up VW engines and great engine swap options.  

You’ll find all sorts of 356 replicas on the market today, everything from the mild home-built Speedsters with fiberglass bodies on VW chassis and running gear, to custom builds with turbocharged Subaru power like those built by Daniel Verwers at Seduction Motorsports. So here’s a plethora of Porsches for your perusing.

Our first Speedster comes to us from Central New Jersey Craigslist in the form of a Fiberfab/CMC (Classic Motor Carriages) project car. The build was started sometime in the past, and appears to have gotten on pretty well until halting with the body mounted on the chassis. The shortened and refurbished ’72 Beetle chassis retains its original Type-One long block, transmission and title and has been fitted with new floors, disc brakes and suspension work. The body has been mounted on the chassis and the seller includes a list of parts to finish the build, including a windshield, a full interior and exterior lights.

The project looks fairly inviting now that the body has been attached, and the car seems like a decent weekend project. However, the seller’s $12,000 asking price is much too high. A listing for a nicely done, well appointed Fiberfab/CMC car can be seen from 2014 with a $15,900 asking price. It seems the car here would have to drop a few thousand dollars before it could compare well to this listing, and the other cars on our list for that matter.

If a budget Speedster is on your list, then this mild-Outlaw might fit the bill a little better. This Speedster is also based on a body from CMC in a wide-body configuration. The car reportedly runs and drives great, and has logged just 3,000 since finished. It doesn’t appear the builder totally overhauled the chassis and engine, as some surface rust is present on each, but the exterior of the car presents well. About the only thing worth addressing on the exterior would be the large stripe that runs down the center, which is an unfortunate bluish-purple shade, and detracts from the car’s aggressive exterior.

The car is listed on Pittsburgh Craigslist with a $14,500 asking price and a Pennsylvania-issued VIN number. This car is miles ahead of the last car we looked at for this price, but you’d probably be able to talk the seller down a bit from here, as the listing is already two months old.

This Speedster replica built by Vintage Speedster of Scottsdale Arizona represents the high watermark for 356 replicas that you’ll find on Craigslist. Vintage Speedster’s site claims they’ve constructed over 3,300 cars since opening their doors in 1986. This car is reported to run and drive like new and is fitted with many desirable options and add-ons.

The fiberglass body is fastened to a shortened VW pan with additional fabrication done for reinforcement. The mechanicals look to be standard Volkswagen with the addition of disc brakes. Cosmetically, the Speedster has a dignified appearance with beige paint, tan leather and gold emblems. The interior looks well finished and the car comes with two tonneau covers and a tan soft top.

Naturally you’ll have to pay a considerably higher price for this level of finish, and the seller is asking just short of $25,000 for this example here on San Fransisco Bay area Craigslist. We’ve found this to be roughly the going rate for a well-sorted used Speedster.

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